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Top 10 Memorable Swimming Pool Scenes

by Blogball
fact checked by dickensgirl

There are many movie scene lists out there that use different subject matter or situations to define the list. I was surprised that no one had ever put one together involving swimming pools so I thought I would give it a try. It should be noted that I tried to stay away from films where swimming pools were the main focus of the movie. So without further ado here are 10 movies with memorable swimming pool scenes. I’m sure you will not be shy to share your favorite pool scenes in the movies in the comments section.


Harold and Maude
1971, Bud Cort and Ruth Gordon

This is a terrific movie about a 19 year old young man named Harold (played by Bud Cort) who develops a relationship with a woman named Maude in her late 70s (played by Ruth Gordon.) Harold fakes his suicide numerous times throughout the movie in a desperate attempt for his mother’s attention. In this scene we see Harold’s mom swim right past him during another one of his fake suicides.

Interesting Fact: Harold and Maude is number 45 on the American Film Institute’s list of 100 Funniest Movies of all time and was also a play on Broadway.


Mommy Dearest
1981, Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford

Faye Dunaway’s over the top performance as Joan Crawford is evident in this pool scene as she easily beats her daughter in a swimming-pool race and then brags about her victory by proclaiming “You lost again”. She then becomes enraged at her daughter when she reacts with childish disappointment.

Interesting Fact: Joan Crawford once said in an interview in the early 1970s that of the current young actresses only Faye Dunaway had “what it takes” to be a true star. The movie Mommy Dearest ended up damaging Dunaway’s career, and Dunaway later stated that she wished she had never appeared in it.


National Lampoon’s Vacation
1983, Chevy Chase and Christie Brinkley

Who can forget this famous pool scene as Chevy Chase and the sexy Christie Brinkley whom he sees throughout the entire vacation in different spots along the way end up skinny dipping together? The pool scene starts about 2/3s into this clip.

Interesting Fact: Brinkley was never actually nude in the film, though it was reported the producers hoped she would be. Christie Brinkley recently recreated this famous swimming pool scene with Chevy Chase for a DirecTV commercial.


Fast Times at Ridgemont High
1982, Phoebe Cates and Judge Reinhold

This film has made it into the listverse lists 3 times. Top 15 Movies about High School, Top 10 Badass Druggies in Movies, and Top 15 Iconic Teen Movies. I had no choice but to include it in this list as well. This famous pool scene starts after Reinhold’s character Brad arrives back home and hits the bathroom after a long hard day at Captain Hook’s Fish and Chips. Phoebe Cates then catches his eye through the bathroom window.

Interesting Fact: Phoebe Cates was initially reluctant to go through with her character’s pool side topless scene because she thought the neighbors might be spying on the set from the surrounding rooftops. Not that it’s like the birth place of William Shakespeare or anything but according to the address given in Wikipedia and thanks to Google street maps you can see the front of the house that was used for the pool scene here.


Meet The Parents
2000, Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro

This is a very funny pool scene where Gaylord Focker played by Ben Stiller is having a bad game at a pool volleyball game. Desperately trying to impress his girl friends parents and their friends he overcompensates and ends up spiking the ball into the face of the bride to be.

Interesting Fact: At one time Jim Carrey was slated to star as the lead and even contributed to the screenplay, such as the main character being named ‘Focker’. The MPAA would not allow the name ‘Focker’ unless the film makers could find an actual person with that surname.


Back to School
1986, Rodney Dangerfield

This is a very funny film but you have to be a Dangerfield fan to enjoy it. Rodney has some classic one-liners throughout the movie. In this pool scene Dangerfield’s character Thornton Melon performs his famous “Triple Lindy.”

Interesting Fact: The movie was filmed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison which was called Grand Lakes University in the movie. However the swim stadium scenes were filmed at a Country Club in the City of Industry, about 25 miles southeast of Hollywood, California.


Bathing Beauty
1944, Esther Williams

You can’t have a top 10 memorable swimming pool movie list and not include Esther Williams. This grand water ballet became famous and is the scene most people associate with her. This was also her first staring role.

Interesting Fact: The movie was initially to be titled “The Co-Ed” with Red Skelton having top billing. However, once MGM executives watched the first cut of the film, they realized that Esther Williams’ role should be showcased more and was then changed to “Bathing Beauty”,


It’s a wonderful Life
1946, James Stewart and Donna Reed

“Did you know there’s a swimming pool under this floor? And did you know that button behind you causes this floor to open up? And did you further know that George Bailey is dancing right over that crack?”

Interesting Fact: The swimming pool used during this famous scene is located at Beverly Hills High School and is still in operation. Director Frank Capra agreed to pay a bonus of $25 to any teen willing to jump into the pool on cue during the scene’s memorable climax.


Caddy Shack
1980, Bill Murray

If you hear the words Baby Ruth candy bar and swimming pool in the same sentence and you don’t smile a little you probably did not see this movie or have no sense of humor. This scene contains around 2 seconds of nudity.

Interesting Fact: The famous pool scene was filmed at Plantation Country Club in Plantation, Florida and was based on a real-life incident at Brian Doyle-Murray’s (one of the movies writers) high school.


The Graduate
1967, Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft

Not only is this a great pool scene but it’s also a great movie. This memorable pool scene starts with the song “Sound of Silence” (not quite half way through this clip) Make sure you watch this scene through the end of the second Simon & Garfunkel song (“April Come She Will”) where Benjamin (Dustin Hoffman) re-enters the pool and is looking up from his raft at the Robinsons.

Interesting Fact: The “Taft Hotel” scenes in this movie were filmed at the famed Ambassador Hotel, the same hotel in which U.S. Senator and Presidential candidate Robert Kennedy was assassinated less than six months after the film’s release.


Something’s Got to Give
1962, Marilyn Monroe

A previous list called “Top 10 Great Movies That Were Never Finished” showed the fist 10 minutes of this unfinished film. This clip shows the now famous swimming pool scene that was shot just before Monroe was fired from the movie which caused the film to be cancelled. Monroe died just a few months after this raw studio footage was taken.

Notable Omissions: The Thrill of It All, The Last Picture Show, Cocoon, Drowning By Numbers

fact checked by dickensgirl